Day Hikes Near Norris


Grizzly Lake
Solfatara Creek
Ice Lake Trail (direct route)
Wolf Lake Cut-Off Trail
Cygnet Lakes Trail
Artist Paint Pots
Monument Geyser Basin

Begin your hike by stopping at a ranger station or visitor center for information. Trail conditions may change suddenly and unexpectedly. Bear activity, rain or snow storms, high water, and fires may temporarily close trails.

Grizzly Lake
Distance: 4 miles (6 km) roundtrip
Climb:
moderate
Difficulty:
moderate
Location:
The trailhead is located on the Mammoth-Norris Road 1 mile south of Beaver Lake. 

Meandering through lush meadows as well as remnants of lodgepole forests scorched in 1976 and 1988, the Grizzly Lake Trail takes hikers to a favorite angling destination. Heavily wooded, the narrow lake is home to a large population of brook trout. Grizzly Lake is difficult to access during late spring and early summer due to bogs and mosquitoes but is an ideal day hike during mid and late summer. 

Solfatara Creek
Distance: 13 miles (20 km) roundtrip
Climb: gradual
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Location: 0.75 miles south of the Beaver Lake Picnic Area at the beginning of Loop C in the Norris Campground 

Twisting near Solfatara Creek, this trail gently works its way up to Whiterock Springs and Lake of the Woods before passing Amphitheater Springs and Lemonade Creek. The above areas are noted for their colorful hot springs but are also subject to bear visits. Before embarking on the trail, be sure to stop by a ranger station for the latest animal activity reports.

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Ice Lake Trail
Distance: 0.6 miles (1 km) roundtrip
Climb: level
Difficulty:
easy
Location:
The trailhead is located on the Norris-Canyon Road 3.5 miles east of Norris.

Just slightly removed from the park’s major crowds, Ice Lake is cradled within a lush pine forest. The small lake provides a beautiful destination in and of itself, but hikers may opt to continue onwards to Wolf Lake, Grebe Lake, and Cascade Lake.

Wolf Lake Cut-off Trail
Distance: 6 miles (10 km) roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty:
moderate to difficult
Location: The trailhead is located 0.25 miles east of the Ice Lake Trailhead on the Canyon Norris Road. The trailhead is unmarked, but a large pullout marks the access point. 

The Wolf Lake Cut-off Trail wanders beside the Gibbon River, passes Little Gibbon Falls, enters an intermittently burned pine forest, and eventually ends at Wolf Lake. Hikers should note that the trail does require stream crossings, and fallen trees may block the trail at times. Trail users should be in good physical condition.

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Cygnet Lakes Trail
Distance: 8 miles (14.4 km) roundtrip
Climb: level
Difficulty:
easy
Location:
The trailhead is located 5.5 miles west of the Canyon Junction at a pullout on the south side of Norris-Canyon Road. 

A day-use only trail, the Cygnet Lakes Trail winds through partially burned lodgepole pine forests to the meadow-lined Cygnet Lakes. The lakes, which are small and boggy, are the trail’s primary destination. The trail is not maintained after the lakes, so hikers seeking a longer trek must use the route at their own discretion.

Artist Paint Pots
Distance: 1 mile (1 km) roundtrip
Climb: moderate
Difficulty: moderate
Location: The trailhead is located 4.5 miles south of Norris on the Norris-Madsen Road. 

The Artist Paint Pots trail takes hikers on a moderate stroll through an open meadow and lodgepole pine forest on its short journey to two prolific mudpots. A short loop at the trail’s end features some of the Norris Area’s most colorful geysers and springs. The trail is appropriate for users of all ages and hiking abilities.

Monument Geyser Basin
Distance: 2 miles (3 km) roundtrip
Climb: moderate to steep
Difficulty: moderate to difficult
Location: The trailhead is located 5 miles south of Norris Junction directly after the Gibbon River on the Norris-Madison Road.

After winding gradually along the Gibbon River, the Monument Geyser Basin Trail climbs 500 feet in less than 0.5 miles to the peak of Monument Geyser. The steep portion of the trail is lined with eroding rocks and geyserite deposits, but the geyser basin provides a fascinating look at several inactive thermal features. Although the area’s mounds and cones have been dormant for many years, hikers are reminded to stay on the trail as the surface is still fragile.

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